1973 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA CHANGES ONLY SLIGHTLY
The ’73 models carried over from the ’72 models with the exception of the usual minor trim and detail changes. The 225 Slant Six, which had been the base engine for years, was dropped, making the 318 small block V8 the standard engine. It and the 340 small block were now the only engine choices.
1973 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA AT THE END OF AN AGE
These were the dark days for Detroit, when government regs were forcing their way into the design of cars. Low-octane/low-lead gas forced carmakers to lower compression ratios, which killed horsepower. New crash-safety regs required big heavy front and rear bumpers and side-impact beams that drove the size and weight of cars up. Rising insurance rates made performance cars harder to afford for buyers. The Big 3 had to deal with all this change rather quickly, and until they could completely redesign and retool (which takes years), they had to make so with the hardware they had on the shelf, in other words big, lazy, cast-iron, pushrod V8s. The first thing to go were the big blocks. The small block V8s that were supposed to fill the gap had been strangled off with clunky new smog equipment that made them not only weak but suffering from poor drivability, spotty reliability, overheating problems and more. The handwriting was on the wall for the Barracuda. 1974 would be the last year, and in fact, the last one was built on April 1, 1974, 10 years to the day from when the first Barracuda was built.